Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

There’s No Place Like CounterPunch

There's no place like CounterPunch, it's just that simple. And as the radical space within the "alternative media"(whatever that means) landscape continues to shrink, sanctuaries such as CounterPunch become all the more crucial for our political, intellectual, and moral survival. Add to that the fact that CounterPunch won't inundate you with ads and corporate propaganda. So it should be clear why CounterPunch needs your support: so it can keep doing what it's been doing for nearly 25 years. As CP Editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, succinctly explained, "We lure you in, and then punch you in the kidneys." Pleasant and true though that may be, the hard-working CP staff is more than just a few grunts greasing the gears of the status quo.

So come on, be a pal, make a tax deductible donation to CounterPunch today to support our annual fund drive, if you have already donated we thank you! If you haven't, do it because you want to. Do it because you know what CounterPunch is worth. Do it because CounterPunch needs you. Every dollar is tax-deductible. (PayPal accepted)

Thank you,
Eric Draitser

The 10 Year Mark in Iraq


The news had come overnight. US planes were raining a shock and awe of murderous destruction on the people of Baghdad, rendering parts of the city into ruins.  The residents hid in shelters if they could and prayed their children would survive. Meanwhile, soldiers and marines clad in the desert camouflaged fatigues of their respective branches, began their trek up various Iraqi highways shooting, hiding and killing. The war they were bringing was not a new one, although this facet of it was.  Previous engagements had been extremely one-sided, with deaths of the Iraqi “enemy” being more than 20,000 times greater than those of the invading US in the salvo called Desert Storm; and 500,000 to perhaps fifty in the years between when the US and Britain enforced their “no-fly” zone and sanctions against Iraq.  This new invasion would not be such a cakewalk, however.

One of the lasting images of Desert Storm is the carnage of the so-called Highway of Death.  The photographs of this savage and criminal event show human corpses literally burnt to a charcoal crisp, rendered to ash by incendiary weapons and napalm by US weaponry as the iraqis that became these corpses retreated in defeat.  There were no apologies forthcoming from the command that ordered this massacre.  As for the Pentagon and its civilian paymasters, the crows over their victory were appalling in their brashness and delight.  As the Tao te Ching tells us:  “He who rejoices in victorydelights in killing (31).  It can be argued that this epigram defined the US mindset at the time.  As we reach the tenth anniversary of the second US attack on Iraq, perhaps the only solace we can take is that the sentiment described by it is not so popular as it was in 1991.

Back to those soldiers and marines on the road to Baghdad in 2003.  By the third day of fighting, the casualties of the invaders were rising.  Yet, there was little to indicate anything but another devastating massacre perpetrated on the Iraqis in the name of liberation.  Indeed, by May 1, 2003, George Bush felt confident enough to stride onto the deck of the US Navy carrier Abraham Lincoln in a flight suit straight out of central casting and announce to the world that the US military had accomplished its mission.  In a public relations episode that would be mocked for years, Bush boldly told those listening that the US and its allies (read Britain) had “prevailed.”

Less than two years later, US casualty numbers were climbing and the media commentators who had championed every move George Bush had made since September 12, 2001 were beginning to mildly question his war.  The Iraqi resistance was becoming better organized and was more than just a few thousand angry Baathists and Sunni citizens who had lost power in the wake of the Hussein government’s overthrow.  It would not be long before various terror organizations began their own war against the occupation troops and, eventually, their Shia cousins.

In the months that followed, the acronym IED became a familiar one to Iraqis and Americans.  Humvees and body armor became part of the common parlance too, especially in relation to the lack of the latter for US troops, despite the billions of dollars being spent to protect the generals and their civilian counterparts inside the relatively luxurious air conditioned buildings of Baghdad’s Green Zone.  There was nothing good about this war unless you owned stock in the arms industry.  Thousands of US men and women were sent to Iraq over and over again to fight against an enemy that was essentially created by the US invasion.  Defense spending in the United States went from around $450 billion to almost a trillion dollars between the years 2003 and 2010, when the withdrawal of most US troops from Iraq was completed.  Most of that money went straight into the war industry’s profit columns.  These increases are replicated in many other countries, as well.  Those who argue that the only reason for this war was to improve war industry profits have a lot of fuel for their argument in those figures alone.

The invasion and occupation of that nation remains a vile and reprehensible stain on the US national conscience, or at least what remains of it.  Those officials, politicians and military officers that planned and fought it; the CEOs, board members and major stockholders of the corporations and banks that profited from it; and the sycophantic media who trumpeted it as shamelessly as Goebbels championed Hitler’s heinous deeds; all of them deserve their own special trial before a jury of those whose families they killed, maimed and otherwise destroyed.  Unfortunately for those survivors, the only justice these sociopaths might ever find will be in their afterlife, if such a thing exists.

We can’t change that past.  We can prevent such a thing from happening in the future.  Don’t forsake the opportunity.

Ron Jacobs is the author of the forthcoming novel All the Sinners, Saints. He is also the author of The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground and Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator’s Tale. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden.  His third novel All the Sinners Saints is a companion to the previous two and is due out in April 2013.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press.  He can be reached at:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians